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Fort Wayne Reader
Elected officials and citizens from around the area and across the state are mourning the loss of former Allen County Commissioner Ed Rousseau. Rousseau died April 25th at age 76.
Rousseau, a Republican, served more than 40 years in city and county government. He spent eight years on the Fort Wayne City Council helping launch the Public Transportation Corp. (now known as Citilink) and the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission (METRO).
However, it was in Allen County government that Rousseau made his perhaps his biggest impact. He served 14 years on the Allen County Council and then 16 years as an Allen County Commissioner. Rousseau helped in the creation of a local income tax, the expansion of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, and the construction of the Airport Expressway. Rousseau was also instrumental in bringing General Motors to Fort Wayne following the devastating closing of International Harvester.
In 2001, Rousseau was diagnosed with small-cell carcinoma, a type of lung cancer. He took a six-month leave to undergo chemotherapy and then got right back to work.
In 2004, Rousseau announced he would not seek re-election as county commissioner. However, even after his retirement, Rousseau remained a force in the community. He served on the Convention and Tourism Authority and the Local Government Efficiency Study Committee.
"I loved Ed and loved working with him. 'Big Ed' was also an inspiration outside of politics with the many community-oriented projects he was involved in,” said Allen County Commissioner Linda Bloom, who served with Rousseau. “Our community owes him a debt of gratitude and I shall greatly miss him."